What do you love about the ocean?
The way the sun and waves dance on the sand; those rippling patterns you can see from metres above, and the crash and boom music of the waves. Seabirds soaring above, the smell of that salt that sticks on your skin. Golden sand, black sand, it’s our homeland.
You can feel it when you close your eyes, when you picture that place you feel happiest; this great love for the world. Being a kiwi, or anyone who’s grown up near the ocean, the love is particularly strong for our big blue.
Last year I started to realise something that kinda blows my mind:
We can show our love for the world through our consumer choices.
Everything is so connected in this awesome planet; every object we own, every meal we eat, every experience we have can only happen because of our fellow beings. And most importantly, every positive action we take, even if it feels really small, is making a difference for the lives of many others down the line.
Plastic is one of these things that really can make a difference. I love the ocean, and this year am attempting to refuse plastic. I often get asked why this is a worthwhile thing to do, and this blog post is my form of answer to that 🙂
So, why is refusing plastic a worthwhile thing to do, (especially if it can be recycled anyway?)
I’ll keep the facts brief; plastic never really breaks down, and in the process can harm or kill many marine animals, as well as accumulate into garbage islands. Our ocean will have more plastic than fish by 2050, new research says.
Do we want a plastic ocean?
(Photo credit: Bonnie Monteleone, sourced on savethewater.org)
Plastic only ever breaks into smaller pieces, which can absorb toxins and then end up higher up the food chain (i.e. we humans can eat unhealthy kaimoana).
Check out the amazing Plastic Pollution Coalition for more info about plastic’s impact on beings and our oceans. ❤
Recycling is another interesting one – funnily enough, plastic isn’t ever made into the same thing again, and instead goes down the cycle in value each time. Really, a piece of plastic is lucky to be ‘down-cycled’ more than once.
But it’s more than that. It’s about that good stuff, those positive vibes. It’s about doing what you care about. Making choices based on what you value is such a powerful thing, and every bit of plastic we choose not to buy makes a difference for other beings. 🙂
Changing what we do every day can seem pretty hard, and also kinda useless at times. However, if we all reduced the plastic we bought, less companies would use it, and that’s real, positive change!
(For great tips on going plastic free^)
You don’t have to be perfect in your plastic free pursuits (I’m definitely not! 🙂 ) but our efforts are worth it, out of love for those we share this world with. There’s no more beautiful reason than that 🙂
And our loving motivation can switch things for us as well..
Instead of feeling sad at a piece of rubbish on the sidewalk, we might see a chalk drawing, a flower, something impermanent and beautiful, something that makes us smile.
(Photo from Switching Spaces Facebook page)
Switching Spaces is this idea; leaving artwork and happy things where a piece of plastic used to be. This positivity is so awesome and keeps spreading, like waves lapping from the sea.
Refusing plastic is choosing healthy oceans, beautiful beaches, and the good vibes of doing something out of love & kindness.
It’s choosing dolphins, turtles, coral reefs. The majestic toroa (albatross) no longer choking on plastic, but flying free.
It’s being an adventurous ocean voyager, a teen at a beach party, a family camping by the coast, a child dipping their toes in for the first time. For you it may be the taste of fresh kaimoana, or the joy of spending lazy afternoons in the sun. For me, it’s dancing down the inner city pavement, feeling inspired by the sidewalk, smiling at that bit of ocean you can see from Hobson St.
For us Kiwis, it’s knowing that our big blue backyard is healthy, happy and ready to enjoy by future New Zealander’s. It’s a future we can be proud of, and look forward to.
For all of us, it’s that this blue planet we love and share is thriving. ❤
(Own drawing of Toroa (albatross))